Alexander Schmidt
Alexander Schmidt, PhD
Research group leader
Phone number:+49 451 500 2926

Current Position:

Postdoctoral fellow at the Section of Clinical and Molecular Neurogenetics and resident at the Department of Neurology, University of Lübeck 

Research Focus:

Clinical and molecular genetics of (musician’s) dystonia and other movement disorders

Education & Scientific training

Education:

1997-2001 Piano studies with Prof. V. Krajnev at the Hanover University of Music and Drama, Hanover, Germany

2001 Diploma thesisat theInstitute of Music Physiology and Musicians’ Medicine (IMMM), Hanover, Germany supervised by Prof. E. Altenmüller

„Untersuchungen zur Fingerfeinwahrnehmung bei Pianisten“

Piano performance degree (MA) (Dipl.-Mus.)

2001-2007 Medical studies at the Hanover Medical School (MHH), Hanover, Germany

2007 Final German National Medical Board examination (MD)

2004-2008 Medical thesis at the IMMM, Hanover, Germany supervised by Prof. E. Altenmüller and Prof. C. Klein (Section of Clinical and Molecular Neurogenetics, University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany) (Dr. med.)

„Pathophysiologie der Musikerdystonie: Neuroplastizität und klinische Genetik“

Supported by a research grant from the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation and the Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia & Parkinson’s Foundation 

Scientific Training:

2006-2008 Student researcher at the IMMM, Hanover, Germany (Director: Prof. E. Altenmüller)

Research fields: Adaptive and maladaptive neuroplasticity,

pathophysiology and therapy of focal dystonia in musicians

Since 2008 Resident in Neurology at the Lübeck University Hospital, Lübeck, Germany (Director: Prof. T. Münte)

Since 2008 Postdoctoral Movement Disorders Research Fellow at the Section of Clinical and Molecular Neurogenetics, University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany (Head: Prof. C. Klein)

Research fields: Clinical and molecular genetics of musician’s dystonia and other movement disorders

Since 2011 Member of the Collaborative Research Center 936 (Sonderforschungsbereich, SFB) of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) at the University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany (Speaker: Prof. C. Gerloff, Prof. A. Engel)

„Multi-Site Communication in the Brain – Funktionelle Kopplung neuronaler Aktivität im ZNS“ (2011-2015)

Dr. Schmidt has been offered a chair position: Professor of Musician’s Medicine at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler Berlin and Head of the Kurt-Singer-Institute for Musicians' Health Berlin (negotiations are underway).

Awards & Memberships

Awards

1993-1996 Music scholarship awarded by the hometown Kiel
1991-2001 Several first prizes at German national and international piano competitions

2007 Travel Grant awarded by the Movement Disorder Society for the participation in the 11th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders in Istanbul, Turkey

2009 Travel Grant awarded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for the participation in the International Symposium on Performance Science in Auckland, New Zealand

2010 Heinrich-Dräger research prize awarded by the University of Lübeck, Germany

2011 Travel Grant awarded by the Movement Disorder Society for the participation in the 15th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders in Toronto, Canada

2011 Junior Award for Excellence in Clinical Research awarded by the Movement Disorder Society

2011 Travel Grant for the 5th International Dystonia Symposium in Barcelona, Spain

Memberships:

German Neurological Society (DGN)
Movement Disorder Society (MDS)
German Association for Music Physiology and Musicians’ Medicine (DGfMM)

Research Funding

“Genetic risk factors of musician’s dystonia as a special subgroup of focal dystonia”
Principal Investigator
Agency: University of Lübeck
Type: Research Grant
Funding period: January 2010 – January 2012
Amount: 75,000 €

„Charakterisierung von Endophänotypen der aufgabenspezifischen Dystonie auf genetischer, neurophysiologischer und bildgebender Basis“
Principal Investigator (Co-Principal Investigator: Prof. B. Mohammadi)
Agency: Universities of Lübeck and Kiel
Type: Research Grant
Funding period: 2011 – 2012
Amount: 30,000 €

„Characterization of endophenotypes in focal task-specific dystonia“
Co-Principal Investigator (Principal Investigator: Prof. C. Klein)
Agency: Dystonia coalition
Type: Research Grant
Funding period: 2011 – 2012
Amount: 47,500 US$

Publications
Selection of 5 most important publications out of 26;
cumulative impact factor: 150; mean 6.0
  1. Schmidt A, Jabusch HC, Altenmüller E, Hagenah J, Brüggemann N, Hedrich K, Saunders-Pullman R, Bressman SB, Kramer PL, Klein C. Dominantly transmitted focal dystonia in families of patients with musicians' cramp. Neurology 2006;67:691-693.

  2. Schmidt A, Jabusch HC, Altenmüller E, Hagenah J, Brüggemann N, Lohmann K, Enders L, Kramer PL, Saunders-Pullman R, Bressman SB, Münchau A, Klein C. Etiology of musician’s dystonia: familial or environmental? Neurology 2009;72:1248-1254.

  3. Schmidt A, Eggers C, Hagenah J, Brüggemann N, Klein JC, Tadic V, Kertelge L, Kasten M, Binkofski F, Siebner H, Fink GR, Hilker R, Klein C. Progression of subtle motor signs in PINK1 mutation carriers with mild dopaminergic deficit. Neurology 2010;74:1798-1805.

  4. Schmidt A, Jabusch HC, Altenmüller E, Enders L, Saunders-Pullman R, Bressman SB, Münchau A, Klein C, Hagenah J. Phenotypic spectrum of musician’s dystonia: A task-specific disorder? Mov Disord 2011;26:546-549.

  5. Schmidt A, Kumar KR, Redyk K, Grünewald A, Leben M, Münchau A, Sue CM, Hagenah J, Hartmann H, Lohmann K, Christen HJ, Klein C. Two faces of the same coin: Benign familial infantile seizures and paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia caused by PRRT2 mutations. Arch Neurol 2012; in press.

Complete list of publications
  1. Ragert P, Schmidt A, Altenmüller E, Dinse HR. Superior tactile performance and learning in professional pianists: evidence for meta-plasticity in musicians. Eur J Neurosci 2004;19:473-478.

  2. Jabusch HC, Zschucke D, Schmidt A, Schüle S, Altenmüller E. Focal dystonia in musicians: treatment strategies and long-term outcome in 144 patients. Mov Disord 2005;20:1623-1626.

  3. Schmidt A, Jabusch HC, Altenmüller E, Hagenah J, Brüggemann N, Hedrich K, Saunders-Pullman R, Bressman SB, Kramer PL, Klein C. Dominantly transmitted focal dystonia in families of patients with musicians' cramp. Neurology 2006;67:691-693.

  4. Seibler P, Djarmati A, Langpap B, Hagenah J, Schmidt A, Brüggemann N, Siebner H, Jabusch H-C, Altenmüller E, Münchau A, Lohmann K, Klein C. Heteroyzgous nonsense mutation in the PRKRA (DYT16) gene associated with generalized dystonia. Lancet Neurol 2008;7:380-381.

  5. Schmidt A, Schneider SA, Hagenah J, Klein C. Dystonia. Nervenarzt 2008; 8.

  6. Brüggemann N, Kock N, König IR, Rakovic A, Hagenah J, Schmidt A, Lohmann K, Ziegler A, Jabusch HC, Siebner H, Altenmüller E, Münchau A, Klein C. The D216H variant in the DYT1 gene – a susceptibility factor for dystonia in familial cases. Neurology 2009;72:1441-1443.

  7. Schmidt A, Jabusch HC, Altenmüller E, Hagenah J, Brüggemann N, Lohmann K, Enders L, Kramer PL, Saunders-Pullman R, Bressman SB, Münchau A, Klein C. Etiology of musician’s dystonia: familial or environmental? Neurology 2009;72:1248-1254.

  8. Djarmati A, Schneider SA, Lohmann K, Winkler S, Pawlack H, Hagenah J, Brüggemann N, Zittel S, Fuchs T, Raković A, Schmidt A, Jabusch HC, Wilcox R, Kostić VS, Siebner H, Altenmüller E, Münchau A, Ozelius LJ, Klein C. Mutations in THAP1 (DYT6) and generalised dystonia with prominent spasmodic dysphonia: a genetic screening study. Lancet Neurol 2009 May;8:447-452.

  9. Schmidt A, Jabusch HC, Altenmüller E, Hagenah J, Saunders-Pullman R, Bressman SB, Münchau A, Klein C. Is Musician’s Dystonia an Inherited Condition?. In: Williamon A, Pretty S, Buck R (Ed.). Proceedings of the International Symposium on Performance Science 2009. Utrecht: European Association of Conservatoires (AEC), 2009: 375-380.

  10. Schmidt A, Eggers C, Hagenah J, Brüggemann N, Klein JC, Tadic V, Kertelge L, Kasten M, Binkofski F, Siebner H, Fink GR, Hilker R, Klein C. Progression of subtle motor signs in PINK1 mutation carriers with mild dopaminergic deficit. Neurology 2010;74:1798-1805.

  11. Kasten M, Kertelge L, Brüggemann N, van der Vegt J, Schmidt A, Tadic V, Buhmann C, Steinlechner S, Behrens MI, Ramirez A, Binkofski F, Siebner H, Raspe H, Hagenah J, Lencer R, Klein C. Non-motor symptoms in genetic Parkinson’s disease. Arch Neurol 2010;67:670-676.

  12. Behrens MI, Brüggemann N, Chana P, Venegas P, Kägi M, Parrao T, Orellana P, Garrido C, Rojas CV, Hauke J, Hahnen E, Gonzalez R, Seleme N, Fernandez V, Schmidt A, Binkofski F, Kömpf D, Kubisch C, Hagenah J, Klein C, Ramirez A. Clinical spectrum of Kufor Rakeb Syndrome in the Chilean kindred with ATP13A2 mutations. Mov Disord 2010;25:1929-1937.

  13. Brüggemann N, Hagenah J, Reetz K, Schmidt A, Kasten M, Buchmann I, Eckerle S, Bähre M, Münchau A, Djarmati A, van der Vegt J, Siebner H, Binkofski F, Ramirez A, Behrens MI, Klein C. Recessively inherited parkinsonism: effect of ATP13A2 mutations on the clinical and neuroimaging phenotype. Arch Neurol 2010;67:1357-1363.

  14. Kertelge L, Brüggemann N, Schmidt A, Tadic V, Wisse C, Dankert S, Drude L, van der Vegt J, Siebner H, Pawlack H, Pramstaller PP, Behrens MI, Ramirez A, Reichel D, Buhmann C, Hagenah J, Klein C, Lohmann K, Kasten M. Impaired sense of smell and color discrimination in monogenic and idiopathic Parkinson disease. Mov Disor 2010; 25:2665-2669.

  15. Kasten M, Bruggemann N, Schmidt A, Klein C. Validity of the MoCA and MMSE in the detection of MCI and dementia in Parkinson disease. Neurology 2010;75:478; author reply 478-479.

  16. Reetz K, Tadic V, Kasten M, Brüggemann N, Schmidt A, Hagenah J, Pramstaller PP, Ramirez A, Behrens MI, Siebner HR, Klein C, Binkofski F. Structural imaging in the presymptomatic stage of genetically determined parkinsonism. Neurobiol Dis 2010; 39:402-408.

  17. Schmidt A, Schneider SA, Hagenah J, Klein C. Dystonia. Nervenarzt 2008; 8.

  18. Schmidt A, Klein C. The Role of Genes in Causing Dystonia. Eur J Neurol. 2010; 17 Suppl 1:65-70.

  19. Enders L, Spector JT, Altenmüller E, Schmidt A, Klein C, Jabusch HC. Musician's dystonia and comorbid anxiety: Two sides of one coin?. Mov Disord 2011;26:539-542.

  20. Schmidt A, Jabusch HC, Altenmüller E, Enders L, Saunders-Pullman R, Bressman SB, Münchau A, Klein C, Hagenah J. Phenotypic spectrum of musician’s dystonia: A task-specific disorder?. Mov Disord 2011;26:546-549.

  21. Schiebler S, Schmidt A, Zittel S, Bäumer T, Gerloff C, Klein C, Münchau A. Arm tremor in cervical dystonia-Is it a manifestation of dystonia or essential tremor? Mov Disord 2011; 26:1789-1792.

  22. Spector JT, Enders L, Altenmüller E, Schmidt A, Klein C, Jabusch HC. Musician's dystonia and comorbid anxiety: Two sides of one coin? In: Williamon A, Edwards D, Bartel L (Ed.). Proceedings of the International Symposium on Performance Science 2011. Utrecht: European Association of Conservatoires (AEC), 2011:19-24.

  23. Lohmann K, Uflacker N, Erogullari A, Lohnau T, Winkler S, Dendorfer A, Schneider SA, Osmanovic A, Svetel M, Ferbert A, Zittel S, Kühn AA, Schmidt A, Altenmüller E, Münchau A, Kamm C, Wittstock M, Kupsch A, Moro E, Volkmann J, Kostic V, Kaiser FJ, Klein C. Identification and functional analysis of novel THAP1 mutations. Eur J Hum Genet 2012; 20:171-175. 

  24. Schmidt A, Altenmüller E, Jabusch HC, Lee A, Wiegers K, Klein C, Lohmann K. The GAG deletion in Tor1A (DYT1) is a rare cause of complex musician's dystonia. Parkinsonism Relat Disord 2012; 18:690-691.

  25. Kasten M, Kertelge L, Tadic V, Brüggemann N, Schmidt A, van der Vegt J, Siebner H, Buhmann C, Lencer R, Kumar KR, Lohmann K, Hagenah J, Klein C. Depression and quality of life in monogenic compared to idiopathic, early-onset Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord 2012; 27:754-759.

  26. Schmidt A, Kumar KR, Redyk K, Grünewald A, Leben M, Münchau A, Sue CM, Hagenah J, Hartmann H, Lohmann K, Christen HJ, Klein C. Two faces of the same coin: Benign familial infantile seizures and paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia caused by PRRT2 mutations. Arch Neurol 2012; 69:668-670.

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